Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) Survey

The Commute Trip Reduction program requirements include a biennial employee transportation survey to measure company performance. This survey is usually conducted in the Fall of odd years.

Quick Links

If you’re familiar with the CTR Survey process and tools, here are some quick links:

Templates and Outreach Communications 

Survey Process

If this is the first time you’ve managed a CTR survey, or you need a reminder, please see the process and resources below.

Steps Details
1. Schedule your survey by emailing our CTR team
  • Identify survey date
  • Determine who to survey: CTR affected or all full-time day shift employees
  • For worksites with over 1,000 employees, consider using the Sampling method (see FAQ)
  • Select how employees access the survey (upload or domain).
2. Access the survey tool
3. Communicate with your staff
4. Launch survey on scheduled date
  • You email a link to employees, which they use to access the survey on the first day of the survey (a Monday).
  • Use promotional graphics and boilerplate communications to encourage staff to take the survey. You need at least a 50% response rate to complete the survey.
5. Two weeks to complete survey
  • You have two weeks to complete the survey
  • More than 50% of employees must complete the survey


Survey Requirements

No less than 50% of employees complete the survey. If less than 50%, your company must re-survey.
Survey all CTR-affected or full-time day shift employees at the worksite. Very large sites may use the Sampling method.
Two methods for employees to access the survey: Email upload or Email domain. If you’re not familiar with these methods, see FAQs below.


Survey Distribution

There are two methods for distributing the CTR survey: Online and Paper. For online surveys, the link that you will distribute is https://www.ctrsurvey.org/survey. Guidance on paper surveys can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below.

Online Surveys

Online surveys (recommended) are distributed over email by the Employee Transportation Coordinator (ETC). This can be you or someone else at your company. Commute Seattle provides you with web resources for distributing and monitoring your online survey.

Paper Surveys

Paper surveys are available for companies whose employees lack email addresses or require assistance with interpretation. Paper surveys are recorded using scantron technology, thus require additional attention and resources. See the Frequently Asked Questions below for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions
Click a question below to see the answer.

What is an employee commute survey?

Every other odd year (i.e. 2015, 2017, 2019, etc.), employers must measure employee commute behavior to determine their programs towards their drive-alone reduction goals. The state-provided Employee Questionnaire is available in paper or online format. The ETC distributes and collects the surveys and the state processes them. A 50% response rate is required but a 70% response rate is desired.

Why is my company required to administer an employee commute survey?

Your company’s employee commute survey is a part of the Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) state law passed in 1991 that requires large employers (100+ employees) to mitigate the traffic impacts of their business by working to reduce driving.

What’s the difference between email upload and domain access?

Video explanation

Email upload (recommended): Employees access the survey with their work email. You can organize a list of emails using this template.

Email upload allows you to run a report on who has not completed the survey. This assists you in reminding specific employees who have not completed the survey. Watch the instructional video.

Domain Access: Employees access the survey with the email domain for your company. Any survey respondent who uses the domain will have access. If you work with Acme Corporation and your email domain is @acmecorp.com, then an employee could access the survey with “jane_smith@acmecorp.com.” Domain Access is best for ETC’s who are not given a list of emails from the IT staff, or employees who do not have email addresses.

However, Domain Access does not allow you to run a report of non-respondents. You can only see who has completed the survey. Watch the instructional video.

How do I upload emails to the survey tool?

Uploading emails takes about 2 minutes; watch an instructional video. Before uploading, you’ll need the email upload template. The template has two columns. In the left column is the email of all employees you will survey. In the right column is the worksite E-code for your company. This code is also your password for accessing the survey.

When do I send my survey to employees?

Begin survey distribution and communication to employees on the first day of the survey window that you are registered. Employees may only access the survey during the specified timeframe. “Awareness campaigns” can be done in advance of the survey window to boost participation. Awareness campaigns are a sustained effort to educate individuals and boost awareness about a cause, issue, or action. Please note: the link will only activate on the first day of the survey window.

I believe my company is no longer CTR-affected. What do I do?

Please notify your Commute Seattle CTR representative. Pending approval from SDOT, your site will receive a formal letter determining your non-CTR status. If you are no longer CTR-affected, you can still participate in the program and take the survey as a voluntary site.

My company is concerned about privacy. How will emails uploaded to the tool be used?

Emails are used for logging into the tool and to track the response rate of a company. WSDOT deletes all emails once the survey process is complete. The complete privacy policy can be read here.

If uploading emails still does not work for your company, we can create a new email domain for your employees to use when responding to the survey. This is not an active email domain, but simply a login method for the CTR Survey Tool. Contact your Commute Seattle CTR representative to setup a new, dummy email domain.

Why conduct surveys at this time?

Surveys are conducted in the Fall of odd years to provide comparable data between companies. We find that administering the survey in the fall most accurately captures commuter’s routine choices and habits.

How do I schedule my survey?

Survey windows are scheduled directly by ETC’s via Commute Seattle distributed event links. ETC’s choose the preferred survey window and proceed to register. For the links to current survey windows, contact your CTR representative.

How do I get a high response rate?
  • Offer a gift card raffle for everyone who completes the survey
  • Have highest ranking official or someone in upper management send out the initial survey email/announcement
  • Follow up with staff directly, either targeting those who have not completed the survey or targeting departments who may be notorious at “ignoring” emails
What questions are asked in the survey? Can I test the survey or access it early?

A copy of the CTR Survey questions is available for download. Do not distribute this copy to employees. It is not the survey, but an example of questions that employees answer.

Almost all employers use the online survey. You can test the survey system by following these instructions:

  • Go to www.ctrsurvey.org/survey.
  • Login to a test version of the survey with your last name and the email domain “@abc.com”. Any word or last name should suffice, as long as you use the domain “@abc.com”. For example, you could write sasquatch@abc.com or relaxing_chair@abc.com, and you’ll be able to enter the test version of the CTR survey.
  • On the next page, select the work site “King County Training”
  • Navigate the questions in the survey. It requires 2-5 minutes.
My company will administer the paper survey. What’s the process?

Schedule your paper survey by filling contacting our CTR team. Commute Seattle will confirm your survey date, and distribute the appropriate number of surveys to you.

The guidelines for administering the survey can be downloaded here. Note that all surveys must be completed with a Number Two pencil and they cannot be bent, creased or torn. It is your responsibility to keep track of paper surveys and make sure your worksite gets at least 50% of its surveys completed in Number Two pencil and returned to Commute Seattle immediately following the closure of your window.

An example of the survey questions can be downloaded in advance here, but this example is not for distribution. The paper surveys that you will distribute will be sent to you by Commute Seattle.

WSDOT has provided copies of translated of the survey. These surveys are not for distribution. The actual survey is only available in English. Translated surveys are strictly for reference.

When do I receive my survey results?

You receive the results once WSDOT compiles them into reports and SDOT has reviewed the final Drive Alone Rate (DAR). SDOT and Commute Seattle strive to return results within 6 to 8 weeks after the survey cycle has been completed.

What do I do after I receive my survey results?

Employee commute surveys derive information that will help inform commuter programs and benefits. Commute Seattle CTR representatives will schedule a 1:1 consultation to review your results and recommend ways to reduce your Drive Alone Rate (DAR) and help employees get to and from work in informed and sustainable methods.

Can I survey more efficiently by using the Sampling method?

Companies with over 1,000 employees at their worksite may choose to use the Sampling method to reduce the total number of surveys distributed. This option is only available to companies who make their request through Commute Seattle; SDOT and WSDOT must also approve the request. To use this method, a worksite must comply with the following guidelines:

    1. The worksite should have at least 1,000 CTR-affected employees. For practical purposes, sampling won’t significantly reduce the impact on a worksite unless that site has several thousand employees.
    2. The employer must be willing to verify the selection of a random sample. Employees asked to complete the survey must be selected randomly. There are many ways to randomly select survey participants. You can use a free tool such as https://www.random.org/lists/. You can also find a step-by-step guide for using Excel to create a random sample in the detailed Sampling instructions.  
    3. Any employer with multiple worksites must confirm which of these are currently sampling. This is critical to ensuring the survey results are tabulated appropriately in WSDOT’s tool. SDOT will communicate this information to WSDOT and confirm approval to sample.
CTR Survey Sampling Calculator

Number of employees at worksite:

Estimated response rate (%):

Minimum Surveys Required:
Estimated Surveys to Distribute: